A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Greenwood gas explosion fundraising has exceeded $260,000

April 27th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association reports that fundraising efforts after the March 9 natural gas explosion in Greenwood have exceeded $260,000, and the PNA has disbursed more than $234,000 so far.

Read on for the complete update from the PNA.

Dear Friends of Greenwood,

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two months since the explosion that devastated the center of Greenwood.

Fundraising efforts have reached $260,601, thanks to countless individuals and over 100 businesses who donated or held benefits. We expect more contributions to come in through various fundraisers and charitable organizations, including proceeds from the Bureau of Fearless Ideas’ book Encyclopedia Greenwoodia and proceeds from the auction of the Greenwood plywood murals, which Urban Hands has organized. The auction will take place at Greenwood Square/Upper Crust Catering (8420 Greenwood Ave N), starting at 6 pm (appetizers, bar and social hour at 5 pm) on Friday, May 13 during the BIG One Art Walk.

Here at the PNA, we’ve been working hard with the Greenwood Relief Advisory Board, communicating with the 53 businesses, and all of the employees and residents affected, determining needs and distributing funds.

So far, $234,423 has been disbursed but funds are still needed, as the estimated damage is in the millions. Roughly half of the funds went directly to the displaced residents and the employees who lost work hours because of business closures. The remaining is currently being distributed to businesses based on the amount of damage they suffered. Of the 53 businesses affected, 30 have requested funds for uninsured loss, many have declined assistance because of sufficient insurance coverage and we are waiting to hear back from several businesses who have not responded.

Progress with repairs is moving slowly as businesses, building owners and insurance companies navigate this complicated situation.

We have heard countless expressions of gratitude (including flowers and a pizza!) from those receiving relief, and we are honored to steward the community’s generosity.

PNA continues to welcome donations to the fund, and we will keep it open through fall. You can still donate online or via mail/in-person at 6532 Phinney Ave N., Seattle, WA 98103. PNA will also continue to promote any fundraisers or benefits organized by businesses or groups.

Thank you for your support!

Lee Harper

Executive Director

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Greenwood Relief Fund Updated

April 12th, 2016 by Robin Donovan

Greenwood explosion relief efforts are still underway with an updated list of businesses who have contributed to the Relief Fund. To see the complete list (which continues to grow), or to donate, please visit the Phinney Center website. The original posting with more information can be found here.

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Bureau of Fearless Ideas students reading from Encyclopedia Greenwoodia at Phinney Books Saturday

April 12th, 2016 by Doree

The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas launched its new book “Encyclopedia Greenwoodia” last Saturday to great acclaim, and will hold another reading at 3 pm. Saturday at Phinney Books, 7405 Greenwood Ave. N.

The book features stories, poems and musings about our neighborhood from 38 BFI students and 15 adults. All profits are going to the Greenwood Relief Fund to help businesses, employees and apartment residents affected by the March 9 natural gas explosion, which also damaged BFI across the street. (They’re currently running all programs out of the Phinney Neighborhood Association until their space is fixed).

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Bureau of Fearless Ideas celebrates our neighborhood with ‘Encyclopedia Greenwoodia’ book launch on Saturday

April 6th, 2016 by Doree

The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth that’s housed within the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. at 8414 Greenwood Ave. N., is celebrating itself and our neighborhood in a big way on Saturday with the book launch of “Encyclopedia Greenwoodia.”

The book features stories, poems and essays by 38 BFI students and 15 adult writers, with a foreword by former Mayor Mike McGinn, who lives just a few blocks from BFI. The book was sent to the printer before the March 9 natural gas explosion that leveled three businesses across the street and blew out BFI’s windows and caused structural damage inside, along with damaging another 50 businesses in a several-block radius. Originally a fundraiser for BFI, all profits of the book will now go to the Greenwood Relief Fund, to help those businesses, employees and apartment residents move on. And they’ve increased the print run, with help from 4Culture, which provided the original grant for the book.

EncyclopediaGreenwoodia-cover-resized

Coincidentally, the first student piece in the book is a short love letter from a BFI student to Mr. Gyros restaurant, which was destroyed in the blast. The first line sets the tone: “Opening the door to Mr. Gyros, I felt it was a place as friendly as a fuzzy bunny.” Other stories feature Gordito’s, the Angry Beaver and G&O Family Cyclery, all three heavily damaged in the explosion.

The book, supported with a grant from 4Culture and printed in Seattle, also includes historic photos from archives at the Museum of History and Industry and the University of Washington, alongside essays relating to neighborhood history. A foldout map shows story locations and neighborhood highlights. There are fictional stories of Greenwood’s past and future, imagined residents and places, sensory reviews of businesses, profiles of notable Greenwoodians, and even mysteries set in the neighborhood.

The book launch and author reading party is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the nearby Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th St. (Because BFI was heavily damaged in the blast, the book launch was moved to the senior center and all programs are now taking place down the street at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.) Books will be available for purchase and also will be sold for $10 at many neighborhood locations, with more author readings coming later this spring.

The book is already getting a lot of press, including from The Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times.

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Fundraising for those affected by Greenwood natural gas explosion exceeds $234,000

March 24th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association reports that fundraising efforts for the businesses, employees and residents affected by the March 9 natural gas explosion have now exceeded $234,000.

That includes the Greenwood Relief Fund that the PNA set up the following day (which is being overseen by an advisory board), a GoFundMe account set up by a neighbor specifically for employees who lost their jobs permanently or temporarily, and a Fundly campaign that was set up by a neighbor just hours after the explosion (the PNA then stepped in as fiscal sponsor).

The PNA has a Greenwood Relief webpage that lists all ongoing and upcoming fundraisers, resources for those affected, and a link to donate to the Greenwood Relief Fund (overseen by the PNA, with 100 percent of proceeds to be distributed to those affected).

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PNA disburses $64,000 to residents and employees displaced by Greenwood explosion

March 18th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association, which has been overseeing fundraising efforts since the March 9 Greenwood explosion that destroyed three businesses, damaged 50 more, and displaced a dozen residents from their apartments, has made the initial disbursement of donated funds.

From the PNA:

Today, The Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) will disburse an initial $64,000 to 12 evacuated residents and 30 displaced employees from the March 9 gas explosion in Greenwood to address their immediate needs.

In the aftermath of the explosion, PNA established the Greenwood Relief Fund and has been collecting donations from individuals, businesses and community groups. Donations are still coming in and so far, the fund has reached $144,933, which includes contributions from individuals, businesses and various benefits and fundraisers hosted by the community. One hundred percent of the PNA’s Greenwood Relief Fund will go to relief efforts.

In addition, $47,202 was raised from a GoFundMe account set up by a community member to help employees of damaged businesses, which the PNA was asked to oversee.

The explosion displaced 12 residents in one apartment building, damaged two other apartment buildings and 53 businesses. Three businesses were completely destroyed (Quick Stop, Neptune Coffee, and Mr. Gyros), four others remain closed (Insurrection, Gorditos, G & O Family Cyclery and The Angry Beaver) and one has temporarily relocated (Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas). Thirty employees experienced a loss of income or jobs.

The PNA, working with the City of Seattle and the Red Cross, has been in contact with the owners of the businesses and the residents displaced by the blast to determine the extent of the damage, their needs, and the response required going forward.

The PNA has convened the Greenwood Relief Advisory Board, consisting of business and community members, to determine how best to distribute the funds. Board members are: Lee Harper, PNA; Jeff Cornejo, PNA; Emilia Jones, PNA; Kelly Kasper, HT2 Consulting Services; Bryan Miller, Naked City Brewery; Jamie Clausen, Phinney Estate Law; Ed Medeiros, community member; Alicia Diefenbach, Verity Credit Union; Tim Corrigan, Umpqua Bank; and Sondra Firestein, Pursuit Concierge.

The advisory board has prioritized the needs for initial fund distribution in the following order: displaced residents, employees who are still out of work, and businesses.

Intermediate-term needs of businesses are still being determined as businesses work with insurance companies and assess their losses. The advisory board will take this information into account as distribution decisions are made.

The PNA will continue to update the community and raise funds through its relief webpage at www.phinneycenter.org/greenwoodrelief. Benefits and fundraisers hosted by the community and resources for those affected are listed on this page as well.

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Time to clean out the garage and basement and get ready for neighborhood Garage Sale Day

March 17th, 2016 by Doree

Our neighborhood’s huge annual Garage Sale Day is set for May 21. Register your sale now to be part of the Phinney Center’s official map, both printed and an online interactive version. You can also reserve a space at the Phinney Center Flea Market.

You can register online, call 206-783-2244, or stop by the PNA at 6532 Phinney Ave. N. before May 14.

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World famous magician Jeff McBride performs at Phinney Center this Saturday

March 8th, 2016 by Doree

Local magician Evan Reynolds, who hosts monthly Family Variety Shows at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, is bringing world famous magician Jeff McBride to the PNA for a special show this Saturday, from 1-2:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy Jeff McBride.

Photo courtesy Jeff McBride.

(T)o other magicians he is legendary. He has his own Las Vegas show (in large venues), he has been on television in Celebracadabra and MindFreak among other things (he had a part written for him on Star Trek!), he’s toured with the Illusionists, and he travels the world performing. He’s travelling the world now – he is in England now and was just in Japan – and we talked him into coming to Seattle.

(T)his guy is an amazing performer. He’s the kind of guy other magicians travel to come see just so we can sit there with our mouths hanging open. Some of it because he’s doing stuff that’s crazy hard (he’s got multiple Guinness world records) and some of it because his stuff is just beautiful and even as a magician it gives me a sense of wonder.

Tickets for the show are $30 and available online through TicketLeap. Professional magicians also can pay $30 for a special lecture afterward (or $50 for both the lecture and show), and $125 for a special Sunday workshop. The show is at the PNA’s Brick Building 6532 Phinney Ave. N.

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Ballard Preschool Co-op’s Gently Used Kids Gear Sale on March 19

March 7th, 2016 by Doree

Ballard Preschool Co-op will host its Gently Used Kids Gear Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 19 at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in the Brick Building, with clothes (newborn to size 8), shoes, toys and gear, including pack-and-plays, cribs, car seats, strollers, maternity wear and more.

Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags or baskets for their items. Strollers must be parked at the door, so if you have a baby, please wear a baby carrier.

The Ballard Preschool Co-op is a program of the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and is located at 7503 18th Ave. NW.

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